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Apprentice Coach Program ‘inspired me to take my coaching career to the next level’

Ellie Spain

Ellie Spain

ALTIS Director of Education

Matt Booth is a former collegiate high jumper who coaches Track & Field at all levels from middle school, high school and at the collegiate level. Coach Booth has also served as personal speed and conditioning coach for numerous NFL, College, and high school football players, most recently signing on to be Strength and Conditioning coach at a baseball facility – Prostyle Training Zone – in Florida.

Matt applied to attend the Apprentice Coach’s Program this January … in this interview we hear about his time onsite in Phoenix:

“I learned more in this week alone than I have learned in any other lecture or camp I have ever attended. I was so impressed with the coaching staff, their attention to detail, knowledge and coaching philosophies.” – Coach Matt Booth

How did you hear about the Apprentice Coach Program?
I heard about Program through a post on Facebook from John Godina. So I went to the Altis website was really impressed with the site and mission of the program. I immediately applied for the Apprentice Coach Program that same day.

What were your thoughts on the Program compared to other courses you’ve attended?
I have gone to numerous track and field education classes and lectures throughout my career. They all have been great and I learned a lot from them. The only thing missing from those lectures was a hand-on experience, having the ability to see all the things we learned in the classroom being applied on the track. This is what separates the Apprentice Coach Program apart from all the other classes I have ever attended. For one whole week, I got the opportunity/privilege to be around the best coaches and athletes from around the world and see the actual workouts and program designs being implemented first hand. I learned more in this week alone than I have learned in any other lecture or camp I have ever attended. I was so impressed with the coaching staff, their attention to detail, knowledge and coaching philosophies. They really opened my eyes and inspired me to take my coaching career to the next level. I would be so excited when I got back to my hotel at night I would either call some of my athletes to talk about training or I would begin making plans to implement all the new things when I returned to Florida.

What were the highlights of the Program for you?
One of the best parts of the week was the debriefing sessions with Dan Pfaff and Andreas Behm. Every day I got the unique opportunity to just sit and talk about training with the best minds in the sport of track and field. When I saw that I was going to have the chance and sit down with Dan every day I was beyond excited for an amazing chance to learn from one of the best coaches in track and field history. Dan did not disappoint, I was floored by the amount of knowledge and wealth of information Dan provided daily during our talks. Most days we would sit for about 2 hours, my goal was to soak in anything and everything we talked about and would just think to myself how fortunate I was to be learning from such accomplished coaches. The best part was after those talks, Dan would take the time to email me articles or references for me to checkout to further back up everything we talked about that day. That truly meant a lot to me, that Dan would take that extra step to send me information proves that he is a passionate teacher and mentor.

What impressed you most about Altis?
The energy level and professionalism of both the coaches and athletes. They embraced me with open arms and were just as excited to have me there as I was excited to be there. From the moment everyone arrived at the track there was a sense of purpose and determination. Both the coaches and athletes worked tirelessly in the pursuit of success. Most days I would look down at my watch and it would be 2pm, would just lose track of time because I was having so much fun and was so engaged with the athletes and coaches. One of the things that really stood out was the athlete’s openness to coaching. Here I was an outsider and throughout the week the athletes were very receptive to the feedback I would provide them based on what I saw. I even had the chance to do some one-on-one work with their high jumper Jeremy Eckert. To have the trust of the coaching staff to work with their athletes and to do some hands-on stuff was great and confidence booster in my coaching ability.

Would you recommend the Apprentice Coach Program to others?
I would definitely recommend this program to any coaches looking for a way to take their coaching career to the next level. As stated before what is unique about this program is you have the opportunity to get hands-on practical experience. You get to see first hand everything being implemented on the track and weight room. In a one week span, I feel I learned so much more than I did in any other class or camp I have ever attended. Words cannot express how grateful I am for having this opportunity and hope to get out there again sometime in the near future. I have taken away so much from this experience and personally want to thank all the coaches and athletes for making me feel so welcomed and for providing me so my insight throughout the week.

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